A proper Porteño empanada

Calzones, samosas, bisteeya–virtually every culture has their version of a savory handheld pie. Some are clearly better than others (I’m talking to you, Hot Pockets). And for my money, one of the very best is the traditional Argentine empanada.

The most traditional empanadas are filled with chopped or ground beef spiced with cumin and paprika and mixed with tomato, olives, hard-cooked egg, and raisins. Together, these ingredients add up to more than the sum of their parts through a complex balance of meatiness, acidity, sweetness, and salt.

Since we’re currently hanging out in Buenos Aires for a bit, I thought we should learn to make proper empanadas. We spent a sunny Saturday afternoon in the kitchen with Norma Soued, a practicing clinical psychologist who gives Argentine cooking workshops out of her Belgrano apartment. Norma teaches in a mix of Spanish and English and speaks fluent French as well–perfect for the parade of foreigners who attend her classes each week. Continue reading